MD (Missile Defense) is a defense weapon for intercepting in the air offensive inter-continental ballistic missiles. In 1960 the U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R. were deeply involved in the development of inter-continental ballistic missiles, and the people around the world were concerned that the earth might be turned into a sea of fire. As a result, the U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R. agreed to limit the number of offensive missiles.
The limitation of the number of offensive weapons necessitates a limitation of the number of defense weapons in the first place. If one side has many defense weapons so that it can counteract against all offensive missiles of another side, this would then bring about an imbalance in the possession of nuclear weapons leading to a possible war. War could be restrained only when the one starting an offense knows that it will receive a counter-offense from the other side. According to this concept, the U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R. in 1972 concluded the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (the ABM Treaty) in order to limit the number and the locations of defense missiles.
However, the circumstances have changed considerably in the meantime. Such rogue states as North Korea, Iraq and Syria have produced long-range ballistic missiles and have been threatening the U.S.A. Recently North Korea in particular has been causing fears that it will retaliate against the U.S.A thousand and million times with long-range ballistic missiles. Should the U.S.A. just look on this situation? It seems obvious, however, that the U.S.A. does not wish to condone the challenges of these rogue states even at the cost of revising or terminating the ABM Treaty concluded with the U.S.S.R.
MD is a top priority policy matter for the Bush administration. However, the government of President Kim Dae-jung has stepped in this matter of a grave concern to the U.S.A. without any fear. The joint communique of the summit meeting held last February when Russian President Putin visited South Korea included the statement that the ABM should be maintained and strengthened. This is a candid accommodation of the position of Russia, China and North Korea that the U.S.A. should also be subject to the ballistic missile offense of rogue states. It is an unbelievable thing that South Korea turned its back on the U.S.A., a security partner riding the same boat together with South Korea, and took a side with North Korea, the archenemy, and other hostile countries like Russia and China which still supply to North Korea weapons and military technologies.
Many of our National Assembly members, journalists, academics of political science, etc. have said that strategic ambiguity should be maintained for MD, but this an entirely wrong thinking. At the time of the Korean War the U.S.A. rescued us at the cost of the lives of about 50,000 of its citizens, and even at present the U.S.A. is safeguarding us against the never-satiable greed of North Korea. North Korea, Russia and China are all aware of this fact. It would be a laughable matter for the whole world if any one tries to cover up this fact with hand. Although we may have our own voice with respect to such matters as economy and culture, it is beyond any doubt that we and the U.S.A. are riding the same boat as far as security is concerned. The need for the firm support of MD by South Korea is not a variable but a constant.
If there is no enemy, there would be no friend. If we maintain an ambiguous position about MD, siding with neither one party nor with the other party, we would be isolated by all the parties. There is a bad smell coming from persons who live along in this world without clearly upholding their positions as to what is right and what are the proper relationships with others and who turn face about from time to time depending on what they may gain temporarily. So does a bad smell emanate from those who maintain an ambiguous position about MD. If we show such an ambiguous position, Russia and China would despise us.
The relations between nations involve not only security but also many other areas such as economy, culture, technology, art, etc. The focal point and characteristic of diplomatic relation change according to the mutual interests of concerned parties. Russia and China are not related to us in terms of security. On the other hand, the U.S.A. is a country protecting us. We have to enunciate clearly that South Korea is under the security umbrella of the U.S.A. As far as security is concerned, if we are to raise different voices from those of the U.S.A., we would have to reform our armed forces in such a manner as to be able to restrain the never-satiable greed of North Korea without the help of the U.S. armed forces. How can one raise independent voices when his security is entrusted to another?
How can one protect Seoul from large-caliber artilleries and missiles which are lined up along the demilitarized zone for the purpose of causing a sea of fire in Seoul? To this question, U.S. armed forces officers are paying no less attention than South Korean armed forces officers. While the U.S.A. is concerned about the possible sea of fire in Seoul, our President said to the effect that it would be all right for the U.S.A. to be attacked by ballistic missiles from North Korea. This is a clear and objective evidence of the revelation of the inner state of mind of his non-appreciation of the U.S.A looking after our security with the power to conduct military operations.
It is not that we are required to share the cost of development of MD. If the U.S.A. develops MD, it would be possible to prevent the development of missiles by rogue states. This is because any missile fired by them would be intercepted in the air. Why should we oppose MD? MD is a defense weapon with no capacity to destroy or wound. Why should we, as an allied nation, oppose the development by the U.S.A., our protector, of the defense weapon at its own cost? All these indications are a sufficient evidence of the prevailing doubt about the color of Kim Dae-jung government which acquiesces in the movement for the withdrawal of the U.S armed forces stationed in Korea.
North Korea is the enemy of South Korea no matter what. Many people appear to be under the impression that the relationship between the South and the North has substantially improved. The truth about the South-North relationship, however, is that the South is either deceived by the North or the South is being influenced by the North at discretion. Last year, with the dollar funds received from us, North Korea performed twice the largest military operation drills in the past ten years. Besides, the quantity of its annual weapon purchases has been increased five times, and voices of many people afraid of several tunnels seemed to be dug across the Demilitariged Zone toward the South have fallen into deaf ears of Kim Dae-jung government. They show smile outside but hold a dagger inside.
Even if we negotiate with North Korea, we must clearly distinguish between them and us. The pro-North and espionage activities are openly prevailing in the South. It is difficult to tell who are enemies. Many people are suspicious whether the government of Kim Dae-jung is managed by a pro-North faction or not, and are concerned his government are aiding the moves of the leftists by abolishing the National Security Act.
North Korea is not a country that can be changed by means of dumping help on them. It is a group of gangsters whose arms need to be twisted by force. Nevertheless, President Kim Dae-jung tried to persuade President Bush by regarding Kim Jung-il as a reasonable leader. The logic of opposing MD has also been developed by President Kim Dae-jung and is being propagated by the pro-North power block. The people of South Korea are now looking out carefully all such developments.